The Sunday Saint (1/20)

Siena Splits Home Stand

kdm
Siena College Athletics

The Siena Saints were two free throws away from a three game win streak, but settled with splitting a pair of contests at home last week against Monmouth and Niagara.

Siena looked to begin a win streak when they hosted Monmouth Monday night. The Hawks have had a down year thus far, but have really hit their stride in conference play. The Saints opened up a 20-10 lead, thanks to four early triples by Jalen Pickett. Monmouth closed the first half with a 12-0 run and took a 34-27 lead into intermission. The Hawks continued the run as they took a 41-29 lead with 17:04 left on a free throw by Ray Salnave. Siena responded and went on a 15-0 spurt of their own to earn a 44-41 advantage with 11:08 remaining. In a back-and-forth affair, Deion Hammond nailed a three to give Monmouth a 55-54 lead with 1:36 to go. Salnave connected on a pair of free throws to build a 57-54 advantage with 26.4 to play, but the Saints refused to go away. Sloan Seymour sent the game to overtime as he drilled a trey with 6.8 ticks on the clock. With Siena trailing the Hawks by one, 61-60, Evan Fisher stepped to the charity stripe with 8.5 seconds left in overtime with hopes of giving the Saints the lead. Fisher missed both free throws and Samuel Chaput put the game away with a two free throws at the other end to send Monmouth home with a 63-60 overtime win.

efmm
The Daily Gazette

Hammond led the Hawks with 16 points, on 6-of-12 shooting, and three rebounds.

Kevin Degnan paced Siena with 17 points, on 5-of-7 from the field, and seven boards. Pickett stuffed the stat sheet for the Saints with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks. Fisher finished with 12 points and four boards.

Siena looked to rebound from their heartbreaking loss to Monmouth when they took on the Niagara Purple Eagles on Thursday night at the Times Union Center. Niagara jumped out to an early 12-2 lead. The Saints outscored the Purple Eagles 29-12 the rest of the first half to take a 31-24 advantage into the break. Siena pulled away with a 14-2 run capped off by a jumper by Degnan to take a 55-35 lead with 7:06 remaining in the game. The Saints hung on to earn a 66-57 victory.

James Towns led Niagara with 21 points, on 8-of-13 from the floor, and four rebounds.

Pickett paced the Saints with 17 points, on 5-of-11 shooting, four boards, on seven assists. Fisher added 13 points, on 6-of-12 from the field, six rebounds, and three assists. Kadeem Smithen provided a spark off the bench for Siena as he tallied 13 points on 5-of-9 from the floor.

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Times Union

With the win, the Saints improved to 7-11 overall and 2-3 in the MAAC.

Player of the Week: Kadeem Smithen

ksn
The Daily Gazette

Although Pickett and Fisher continue to be leaders for Siena on the court, this week’s player of the week for the Saints was Kadeem Smithen. The senior guard had yet to break out this year, but he came off the bench against Niagara and was just what the doctor ordered for first-year coach Jamion Christian. Smithen has always been a solid defender, but rarely gets it going offensively. Siena could use Smithen as a viable option off the bench as MAAC play continues.

Up Next: Fairfield and Manhattan

The Saints will travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut to take on the Fairfield Stags on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. Fairfield is 5-14 on the season, 2-5 in conference, and are coming off a 73-68 loss to Canisius on Saturday. The Stags are led by Landon Taliaferro who is averaging 12.5 points per game. Last year, Fairfield swept the season series from Siena.

The Saints will return home on Saturday night when they square off against the Manhattan Jaspers. Tip-off is set for 7pm. Manhattan is 4-14 overall, 2-4 in the MAAC, and are coming off a 60-47 loss to Rider on Saturday. The Jaspers host Marist on Monday night before they travel to Albany to battle with Siena. Manhattan is led by Pauly Paulicap who is averaging 8.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest. Last season, the Jaspers swept the season series from the Saints.

The Sunday Saint (1/13)

Siena Takes Down Rival Marist

efm
The Daily Gazette

Siena traveled down I-87 to battle with arch rival Marist on Friday night in a MAAC matchup.

The Saints were looking for their first MAAC win under first year head coach Jamion Christian. With neither team shooting well in the first half, the score was tied at 22 at intermission. The contest featured 10 ties and 17 lead changes and was tightly contested until the Red Foxes opened up a 51-44 lead on a free throw by Isaiah Lamb with 8:08 remaining in the game. The Saints responded with a 22-8 run capped off by a triple by Sloan Seymour to build a 66-59 edge with 1:33 to go. Siena hung on and Coach Christian picked up his first MAAC win with a score of 71-66.

The Saints earned the victory from behind the arc where they converted on 45.5-percent of their attempts (10-of-22), compared to Marist who shot just 22.7-percent (5-of-22) from three.

Lamb led the Red Foxes with 13 points, on 5-of-8 shooting, and eight rebounds.

Evan Fisher paced Siena with 23 points, on 8-of-10 from the field, and four rebounds. Seymour finished with 12 points in the win.

With the victory, the Saints improved to 6-10 overall and 1-2 in the MAAC.

Player of the Week: Sloan Seymour

ssm
Siena College Athletics

Although Evan Fisher has been playing at an All-MAAC level in conference play, this week’s player of the week for Siena is Sloan Seymour. In MAAC play, the freshman forward has been averaging 13 points per game on 46.4-percent shooting from three-point land. Continued efficiency from deep by Seymour is critical moving forward for the Saints as defenses will need to guard against his shot, which will open up the floor for Fisher and Jalen Pickett.

Up Next: Monmouth and Niagara

This week, Siena returns to the Times Union Center for a two-game home-stand with games against Monmouth and Niagara.

The Saints host the Monmouth Hawks on Monday at 7pm. Monmouth is 3-14 on the season, 2-2 in the MAAC, and is coming off a 65-49 win over Manhattan on Saturday. The Hawks are led by Ray Salnave who is averaging 12.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Last year, Monmouth swept the season series, including a 93-89 win over the Saints in triple overtime at the Times Union Center.

Siena will square off against the Niagara Purple Eagles on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. Niagara is 8-8 overall, 1-2 in the MAAC and is coming off a 95-90 win over Iona on Friday. The Purple Eagles will face Rider at home before traveling to Albany to duel with the Saints. Niagara is led by Marvin Prochet who is averaging 17.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest. Last season, the Purple Eagles emerged victorious in the lone meeting between the two schools, 84-76, in Albany.

Regular Season Finale: Siena at St. Peter’s & A Look Ahead to the MAAC Tournament

Siena Stumped by St. Peter’s

kadeem st. peter's
Times Union

Siena closed out its 2017-18 regular season with a 65-48 loss at St. Peter’s on Sunday.

With the win, St. Peter’s secured the 9 seed in this year’s MAAC Tournament, while Siena settled for the 10 seed, as Marist lost 98-74 at Canisius on Sunday.

The Saints raced out to a 19-12 lead, but the Peacocks closed the half on a 14-3 run to take a 26-22 lead into the break.

Siena cut St. Peter’s lead to one, 28-27, with 16:18 to go on a jumper by Prince Oduro, but the Peacocks responded with a layup by Elijah Gonzales on the subsequent possession and the Saints would not get any closer the rest of the way.

St. Peter’s shot 51.1% from the field and 45.5% from three point range to overcome their 16 turnovers. Siena, on the other hand, shot just 32.7% from the floor and 33.3% from deep.

Cameron Jones led the Peacocks with 14 points and 4 rebounds off the bench, while Gonzales contributed a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

The Saints were led by Kadeem Smithen who scored 11 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and came away with 5 steals. Oduro tallied 10 points. Ahsante Shivers finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds in the losing effort.

prince
sienasaints.com

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “We’re struggling to find someone who can shoot the ball right now,” Patsos said. “St. Peter’s is an excellent defensive team. There was five free throws in a row missed and you’re not gonna win at the MAAC level. It’s an energetic, passionate, hard league. Gonna have to get a lot tougher next week that’s for sure. It’s the MAAC Tournament or bust. It’s one game at a time now.”

Siena closed out the 2017-18 regular season with an 8-23 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the MAAC. St. Peter’s finished with a 12-17 overall record and went 6-12 in conference play.

The Saints will open the MAAC Tournament in Thursday’s first round at the Times Union Center in Albany for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Siena is the 10 seed and will take on the 7 seed Quinnipiac. Tip-off is set for 7pm. This will be the first meeting in the conference tournament between the two schools since Quinnipiac joined the MAAC in the 2013-14 season. The Bobcats swept the season series over the Saints winning 71-70 in Albany on New Year’s Day and 76-69 in Hamden, CT on January 21. Both teams have lost seven of their last eight games leading up to the MAAC Tournament. The winner will face the 2 seed Canisius, who shared the regular season MAAC Championship with Rider, at 9:30pm on Friday.

Here’s a look at the 2018 Men’s Basketball MAAC Tournament Bracket:

MAAC

Niagara at Siena

Niagara takes Down Siena

jordan horn
sienasaints.com

Siena lost their third straight to begin MAAC play as they fell 84-76 to Niagara on Friday night.

It was a game of runs. Niagara got out to a 12-3 lead early, but Siena battled back to tie the game at 30 late in the first half, only to have a Kahlil Dukes 3-pointer silence the crowd and give the Purple Eagles the lead for good.

Niagara took a 37-31 lead into the half. The Saints would get as close as three when they cut the Niagara lead to 65-62 with 7:34 remaining, but the Purple Eagles used a 16-5 run late to put the game out of reach.

Siena was aware that Matt Scott and Dukes were ranked 14th and 28th in scoring nationally, but it was Marvin Prochet’s 20 point performance that led Niagara to the win. Scott and Dukes tallied 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Siena was without their leading scorer Friday night as junior captain Nico Clareth was home in Baltimore due to a family matter.

Freshman guard Jordan Horn stepped up in Clareth’s absence scoring a career high 29 points in the losing effort. Freshman big man Prince Oduro also finished with a career high 19 points and added 5 rebounds.

Evan Fisher followed up his career performance on Monday against Quinnipiac with a solid 8 points and 9 rebounds against Niagara. Thomas Heurter, Jr. contributed with a career high 5 points off the bench. The sophomore also grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked two shots, playing in just his second game in the last month.

Despite the loss, Jimmy Patsos was happy with the play of his freshman Friday night. “Their [Niagara’s] two best players are seniors,” Patsos said. “Today, our two best players were freshman.”

Siena fell to 4-12 overall and 0-3 in conference play. Niagara improved to 8-8 and 1-2 in the league. Due to the restructuring of the conference schedule, this was the only time these two teams will meet this season.

Siena returns to action on Sunday, January 7 at 3pm when they host the first place Canisius Golden Griffins in the last game of a three game home stand. Canisius enters Sunday’s contest coming off of a 82-74 win over Quinnipiac Friday night. The Golden Griffins are 9-7 on the season and are 3-0 versus MAAC competition. Canisius is led by Isaiah Reese who is averaging 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Last year, the Golden Griffins swept the season series versus the Saints winning 82-79 in Buffalo and 80-73 at the Times Union Center.

Quinnipiac at Siena

Siena falls just short against Quinnipiac

Evann Fisherr
sienasaints.com

Siena lost to Quinnipiac, 71-70, in a New Year’s Day matinee at the Times Union Center.

Ahsante Shivers’ attempt at a game-winning layup was blocked by Abdulai Bundu as time expired to seal the road victory for the Bobcats.

The game featured 12 ties and 17 lead changes and was close throughout, as neither team had a lead greater than six.

Quinnipiac was led by Cameron Young, who scored a game-high 26 points, and sunk the go ahead 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining. Young added 9 rebounds and shot 15-for-16 from the free throw line.

Siena shot a 53% from the field and a blistering 63% from behind the arc to keep themselves in the game against the Bobcats. Quinnipiac shot just 40% from the field, but converted on 22-of-26 attempts from the charity stripe, compared to the Saints who only shot nine free throws the entire game (Siena made 8-of-9 of their free throw attempts).

Siena was led by Evan Fisher and Roman Penn who both recorded career-highs in points, tallying 21 and 19, respectively. Fisher and Penn grabbed 5 rebounds apiece. Fisher connected on a career-high four 3-point attempts, while Penn came away with a career-high 6 steals in the losing effort.

Khalil Richard added 14 points off the bench. Junior captain Nico Clareth scored just 2 points and attempted only two shots in the game.

Jimmy Patsos reflected on his team’s effort in the postgame press conference. “There were some loose balls we didn’t get and they led to 3-pointers,” Patsos said. “There are some coaching decisions I have to look at.” Patsos was blunt in his discussion of the game’s final play. “They converted, we didn’t.” Patsos also applauded the contributions of Fisher and Penn after the game.

With the loss, Siena fell to 4-11 overall and 0-2 in MAAC play.

Siena will look to pick up their first win in conference play as they continue their three-game home-stand when they take on Niagara on Friday, January 5 at 7pm. The Saints split the season series with the Purple Eagles last year, losing 71-66 on the road and winning 76-70 at home. Niagara enters the contest 7-8 overall and 0-2 in MAAC play. The Purple Eagles feature two of the nation’s top thirty scorers. Matt Scott ranks 14th nationally scoring 22.4 points per game, while Kahlil Dukes averages 21.2 points per contest, ranking 28th in the country.